I'm A Professional

Friday, August 29, 2014

Top by Style Latley/ Necklace by Mildred & Bernice

I'm doing this new thing with my hair where I ... don't do anything. Besides the old bangaroos, I haven't cut or colored it in almost five months. And I must say, it really looks like I haven't cut or colored it in five months. I'm going for the Joe Dirt look, you know? In photos two and three I almost nail it. When I lean just right my hair looks like a mullet. But not just any mullet, one of those fancy mullets the white trash kids had in your third grade class after every summer break.

But anywho, enough bragging about my mull. I typically like to come here with at least an idea in mind but today I'm just free balling it. It's Friday, why not?

So here's what's on the docket for tonight: first things first, stop staying docket. I don't know where that just came from. It's such a dad word.

Docket for the night:

Go to iO Grand Opening.

Catch as many amazing shows as possible featuring favorite comedians.

Afterward DON'T follow around said favorite comedic celebs like Tim Meadows, Jack McBrayer or Stephanie Weir and try to talk to them.

And absolutely do NOT start reciting David Koechner's monologue from Out Cold to David Koechner. I can already assume he just doesn't want to hear it.

But do sneak a pic with Eric Stonestreet because it's CAM!

iO is going to be so full of my idols tonight I can barely stand it. But I have to stand it. Because I'm running their social media and I have to be a professional about it. So chances are you won't see any pics, but perhaps just a few creeper pics I try to take without them knowing...

The fun starts tonight at 7:00 p.m. and I'll be live tweeting everything from @iOChicago so follow along if you're bored and want to see me sneaking up on celebs (chances are I'll be doing this on my insta as well @taylorgracewolfe.) And if you're actually in Chicago hurry up and buy any remaining tickets and get your butt to iO tonight because it's going to be an amazing night.

And then Saturday is the first Nebraska football game!!! There's just so much going on. I also just remembered Monday is Labor Day. Which of course means we all need to get the most out of our white pants and shorts for the next couple of days because everyone knows you have to put them away after Monday. That's the one fashion rule I remember my mom telling me when I was a kid, but then again my mom had one skinny long braid with beads on it that was at least 6 inches longer than the rest of her hair for most of my childhood so .... so any fashion advice was taken with a grain of salt if you catch my drift. Just kidding, mom! You rocked that side rat tail in the early 90s!

I'm just too excited to keep babbling. So I'm going to have to wrap it up. Have a great long weekend, everyone! And go big red!

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What Do You Do When Your Blog Traffic Takes A Dip?

Thursday, August 28, 2014

You panic. And then panic some more because it's all over.

I'm kidding (kind of.) But like anyone else, I have some months that are better than others when it comes to blog traffic. It all ebbs and flows, I've realized this after five years of blogging. I've also realized summers are hard. They just are, it happens every year.

However today I'm here to assist you with a few helpful tips that can turn that traffic around in a jiffy. I'm certainly no expert, so take them for what you'd like.

First and foremost...

Announce that you have an announcement. But then never actually tell what that announcement is. Just keep alluding to how AWESOME it is.

Write a post that will piss people off. I suggest one about politics or tattoos.

Get a book deal. Or just say that you have a book deal.
Did I mention I have a book deal by the way? I mean I'm self publishing, but it sure seems like a helluva a deal... (slap your knee for that awful joke. I know I am.)

You know those bloggers that kinda annoy you? Talk about them.

Speaking of, get into a public blog fight with someone. Twitter fights are also known to increase traffic.

Get pregnant. New baby announcement = traffic gold mine. (I've heard.)

Get engaged. Then get married. People love wedding talk.

Talk about why you hate bloggers who sell-out. These posts are always super popular.

Burn down your house. This one might be a little out there, but I have a feeling it would increase traffic. Blogging takes some sacrifices, don't you ever forget that.

Write a post about all of the fun braids you can do with your hair!!!

Start a comment fight... with yourself.

Write a post with a really controversial title. Then the post can be about rainbows and dogs, the title just has to be catchy.

Switch to Wordpress. Then back to Blogger. Then back to Wordpress. Make sure to write a post each time in regards to why you feel you made the right decision and why everyone else should switch.

Write a post about breastfeeding. Especially if you've never had children.

Write a post called "The Truth Circle" and then you open up comments to anyone (anonymous included) and ask for people to tell you what they really think about you or what you should change about yourself... Or were my friends and I the only asshole middle school girls who used to play Truth Circle? Man, we were evil.

Or just buy traffic. I feel like that can probably be done now.

It's all about the numbers, am I right girls? Keep fighting the good fight.

And if you've taken anything I've said seriously in this post, that's great! Then also please head on over to Bloglovin and vote for me for best blogger! I'm leading the way in every category! I'm the one in the photo not smiling, wearing sunglasses, looking down.

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10 Things No One Told Me About Living In A City

For the past week or so Chicago has been getting pounded with rain. And I love a good afternoon thunderstorm, at least that's what I was thinking to myself the other day when one had passed and I was heading out the door and taking a short cut through the alley when I happened to pass a giant dead rat floating in one of the puddles... I shrugged it off and continued on my way.

Rats disgust me, don't get me wrong, but there such a common occurrence here I hardly even notice them anymore. And that might disgust me even more.

Chicago is second only to New York when it comes to rat population in the U.S. ( I know because I looked it up.) At night they are are lurking behind every dumpster and scattering down every alley. And I suppose it doesn't help that we live right next to numerous bars and restaurants... The worst is when I come home late from a comedy show and have to brave the alley alone. I am far more scared of rats than I am of murders.

I'd always heard that cities have rats, but I didn't realize the extent of it until I moved to Chicago. Which brings me to today's post:

(It's mostly common sense... yet it's stuff I never really considered before moving to Chicago.)

1. Rats are more common than squirrels.
Never walk down a dark alley alone at night, not because it's dangerous, because it's disgusting. I once took out our trash after dark and opened our trash bin and... you guessed it, a rat jumped out. I will never make that mistake again.

2. Pools don't exist.
This one was especially hard for me my first summer. I grew up in Nebraska, public and private pools were everywhere. Now I've just accepted the fact I get to be in a pool twice a year and that's it.

3. Everyone flocks to the parks.
Because of the lack of backyards (and pools I imagine) the parks are always full in the summer. At first when I saw gals just lying their bikinis on the public grass areas on a Tuesday afternoon I was a little skeptical. Nobody does that in Nebraska. But soon enough I followed course (in jean shorts and a tank top, never a bikini. I just can't.)

4. In-unit washer and dryers don't exist.
Well they do, I just can't afford the places that have them. Right now we have a communal unit in our basement that we share with six other people and I kind of hate it. Not only is the basement the type of place you would take kidnapped children, but the people we share it with think it's fun to leave their wet clothes in the washer for five days.

5. Getting groceries is very very difficult.
Whether I bike to get them, or walk, or even get in my car, it's always far more difficult than it should be. Because if I'm getting a big load so I opt to take my car, the chances of finding a parking spot close to my house when I return is slim to none. That almost always results in grocery arm- which is the feeling of intense pain in one's arm after trying to carry 14 grocery bags for three blocks. The pain is real and it usually lasts at least five days after.

6. Speaking of parking, losing your car is a real thing.
Sometimes I have to park my car five streets away. And then often times I'll leave my car in that spot for weeks at a time without driving it. So it's always a guessing game where my little car might be hiding...

7. People hate the suburbs, mostly the people living in them.
I understand that living in the city is considered more fun than the burbs, but I also completely understand why people move to the burbs. Space! Yet whenever you meet someone who lives out there, they're the first to tell you and they always say it with a certain eye roll and chip on their shoulder. Get over the stigma people, I grew up in Nebraska.

8. It doesn't matter what time of day, or which day it is, people are always drinking.
You'll never find an empty bar. I'm a fan of this one, a big fan in fact. The bar atmosphere in Chicago is just wonderful.

9. Summers are... smelly.
For the most part, I think Chicago is a very clean city (besides the rats.) Yet there's a certain funk smell to summers in the city. I can't quite pinpoint what the smell is, but it's there. And on a hut and humid day, it's really there. I've become OCD about washing my hands all day every day since moving here. I was bored the other day and even took a quiz about how high my hygiene is just to be sure I'm not letting that funk smell attach to me. You can find that quiz below if you're interested.

10. Brunch is EVERYTHING.
Again, another favorite of mine. Give me brunch over any other meal.

Speaking of, I'm ready for a Bloody Mary.
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Harlow's Big Break

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Yesterday was supposed to be Harlow's big break.

He had been asked to go to an ad agency downtown to do a photo shoot for a really big pet product brand. Naturally I was hesitant to agree to this. I mean I don't want to sound selfish or anything, but I'm supposed to be the star of this family. I'm the one who has been working tirelessly going to auditions and trying to get an agent hoping one day I'll "make it." Yet it was Harlow who booked his first big gig- without even trying I might add.

So like the good stage mom I am, I said okay. Of course Harlow was ecstatic. Let's not kid anyone here, the guy is a total attention whore. Yesterday he was full of demands before the shoot. Bathe me, scrub my ears, brush my teeth, give me turkey meat, more turkey meat, now a cheese stick. ... Again, I'm a good stage mom so I let it happen.

Harlow was so concerned about looking good he actually tricked me into thinking he was going to be a little bit professional about this whole thing. And that got me excited. If one of us was going to make it I guess I could accept it being him. I could live in his shadow for life, I've already done it for the past three years anyway.

But I was wrong about the whole professional thing.

I knew things were going to be bad when we got into the elevator in the building and Har just started going crazy. Not like a scared crazy, just a crazy-crazy. A vizsla-crazy. He's been on elevators before, all city dogs have, but for some reason yesterday he started jumping on the walls and barking at the buttons.

When we got off on the floor of the ad agency Har ran straight for the front desk and put his paws on it looking for treats. He thinks that every time we go somewhere he just has to put his paws on a counter and he'll get a treat. And because we live in Lincoln Park, that's typically the case. Every business serves dog treats. And they reward his bad behavior because "he's just so cute," or so they say... Speaking of bad behavior, Harlow isn't exactly well trained... He used to be. Kind of. But he's a jumper. That's pretty much my fault though because when I walk in the door I kind of encourage it, what can I say I like Harlow hugs. And who am I to judge, I'm not exactly the best trained human, I don't always stay when people tell me to, so whatever.

After he made his presence known to everyone in the office, truly everyone, we were guided into a room with a white backdrop. The photographer showed us some example photos of what he was looking for, "just a relaxed chill look," he said as Harlow ran full on zoomies around the small office, pausing only to jump on the chairs and desk, a look of pure excited mania in his eye.

Here's the thing about Vizslas, they're not chill or relaxed. They are crazy. I love Harlow so much and will never stray from having a Vizsla, but they cray. I regularly get asked if Har's still a puppy because he still has that clumsy puppy energy. He's going to be four in two weeks.

As you can imagine, he didn't sit in front of the white backdrop and pose nicely. He did anything but. I tried treats, I tried commands, I tried sitting in front of the backdrop nicely myself, but nothing worked. He was tossing his big break down the drain and he didn't even care. I think every shot probably looked like this.

And then after all of his running around, he got super diva like and demanded he be brought an ice cold glass of water. With a lemon.

And also a good neck rub.

After a while the photographer said he got a few good shots, but I think they were just ready for us to go.

As we were getting on the elevator Harlow paused for a moment to look at me with this weird smile on his face as if to ask, "did I do good?" So I rubbed his head and said, "Yeah Har, you did good."

I'm not supposed to mention the brand he was shooting for (just yet) but if his shots get chosen you'll be seeing his mug all over the place on product packaging. Sadly, I think we all know this won't be the case.

I guess not all dogs are cut out to be model-dogs. Not this guy anyway.

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My 2 Year Anniversary

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

My good pals Sarah, Ashley and myself getting ready in the luxurious Second City bathroom last night before the show. Total divas.

Every once in a while I like to time travel with my blog. And by that I mean I click on an old post to see what I was up to around this same time a few years ago. It's a good way to keep myself in check. Or better yet to see how much weirder my life is getting with each year that passes.

So I clicked back to August 28th, 2012 and it was the night of my first improv class at Second City. About a month previous I had signed up on a whim (a kind of intoxicated whim to be exact) and was totally dreading my first class (because I was a coward) and even tried to call the training center to get a refund. But they wouldn't let me out of it. So I was going to have to buck up and try something gasp! new. And I used to hate trying new things and meeting new people. I loathed it with every bone in my body (because I'm an introvert, remember.) 

So with a pissy attitude and a bad outlook (on basically everything at that time) I went to my first class on that rainy Tuesday night. And things were forever changed. 

I know that may sound like I'm romanticizing it, and perhaps I am a little, but it's also pretty true. I didn't realize it at the time, but that first improv class at Second City was a game changer for me. It would lead me to iO, which would lead me to stand-up, which would lead me to... well I'm not sure where yet. But I think (and hope) somewhere good. 

Like any comedy obsessed kid I grew up dreaming about someday taking classes at The Second City. When I visited Chicago I would watch the Mainstage shows and think I want to learn how to do that! But I never really thought I would or I could. It just seemed like it was too far out there. I actually remember telling my mom once, "What's the point of taking a class there? I heard you have to be there for like five or six years before you ever have a chance of doing anything good." I lived in Chicago for an entire year before I finally got a little tipsy one night after drinking alone for a few hours and signed up for a class. 

And now I know the point. We're there for that long because we love it. And we can't imagine doing anything else. It's no longer just about making the Mainstage (which yes, would be amazing) but it's more about the talented comedians you meet along the way and the great stuff you create together.

I'll never forget what our teacher told us at that first class back in 2012, he said "I just want to warn you guys that some of you might change your entire life because of tonight. You don't know it now, but in a few years I'll find you and will have quit your cushy day job and you'll be doing anything you can to live day to day just so you can perform comedy at night. It has that effect on people."

I laughed because I didn't believe him. And yet two years later here I am. It blows my mind I've only been doing this comedy thing for barely a couple of years. It feels like I've been living this weird boho lifestyle for much longer. Late nights at comedy clubs and long days trying to work while always always thinking of that next joke or sketch. It's exhausting.

So I have no idea if I'll have a third or a fourth or even a fifth "comedy anniversary." This path is just too uncertain to ever know. But I think for right now I'm just going to enjoy it, it's too fun of a ride not to.

After all, I've always known this is what I wanted to do. It's just taken me a little longer than others to finally admit it. As a kid I always wanted to be on stage and make people laugh, but then you get to a certain age where it no longer feels okay to admit you want to do the same stuff you wanted to do as a kid. It feels narcissistic or arrogant or just too "unrealistic."

But then you also get to a certain age where you just say screw it. I'm gonna give it a try anyway. 

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Let's Hear It For New York

Sunday, August 24, 2014

It all started with the idea of taking a simple scooter ride up to Logan Square to get a bloody at Longman & Eagle. But then one thing led to another and we had suddenly eaten our way through the entire city. Chicago is sneaky like that, it will make you stop at restaurants even when you're not hungry.

And guys on scooters. What all girls love. Strike that, I mean guys wearing pink shirts on bright blue scooters. What can I say, he's a keeper. Ladies, back off.

Speaking of keepers, this would be the brunch item I ordered at Longman & Eagle- it's smoked salmon eggs benedict. So good it almost brought a tear to my eye.

Chris is a classic kind of guy and went for the healthy option- the burger with an egg on top served with a side of beef fat fries.

Minutes after we finished our "light brunch" at Longman we jumped on the scooter and weren't further than a few blocks away when all of the sudden it started pouring. We knew it was only going to get worse so we figured we'd tough it out and just get all the way home rather than stopping. And of course at every stop light the dry people in the cars next to us had to look over and point and laugh as we sat on our silly blue scooter and got poured on. 

By the time we got home we were absolutely soaked. Once we dried off I caught these two peaking out the front window as the storm rolled by. Could they be any cuter?
After the storm passed it only made sense for us to get back out there and find more food. So once again we jumped on old Scoots and made our way to Wicker Park. I took this photo from the back of the scooter because I was certain it was really cool and artsy. I was wrong. It's just a photo of a street. I'm posting it anyway to teach myself a lesson about taking stupid photos. 

We went to Oiistar in Wicker because we've heard their ramen is supposed to be amazing. Well Chris went for the ramen, I actually went because I heard they have great sangria.

For an appetizer we got the Duxelle, which is wild mushrooms, pork belly, spicy mayo, and avocado puree all with a little drop of caviar on top.

Oh my goodness it was delicious. I think I liked it more than my meal. I could have eaten five more fried balls of Duxelle. But for the main course I got the ramen because like I said, it's why we came to Oiistar in the first place.

I ignorantly always thought ramen was just a thing college kids ate in their dorm room. Turns out there's such a thing as fancy ramen and it's amazing. Probably just as healthy as the college stuff too, I imagine...

We rendezvoused downtown on our way home to ride along the river. I just love this city so much. I keep thinking the thrill of living here is going to wear off and yet it never has. It only seems to get better with each day that passes.

And that's mostly because of the food. We figured we might as well grab a cupcake before going home because why not it was only 11:00 p.m. and we weren't sickly full just yet. So I picked up a Cookie Monster cupcake (it actually had cookie dough on the inside) from Molly's Cupcakes to seal the deal.

And Sunday was spent at the dog beach just because I'm a weird dog owner and get a sick amount of joy off of seeing this smile of Harlow's. There's a good chance I enjoy the dog beach just as much as him, perhaps a little more even.

The waves were a bit bigger than normal so he was a little hesitant at first, but Harlow held on to him to make sure Chris got over his fear. He's just a sweetheart like that.

After the beach we had another "light lunch" at Revolution in Logan Square because go hard or go home. Healthy eating is for weekdays. This is the chicken pesto sandwich smeared in cheese and regret and heart burn.

And as I finish this post I literally just got an email that I was never expecting but never the less, made me so so happy. I was going to wait and talk about it tomorrow (and trust me I still will) but screw it I'm too excited. I just found out that I got invited to the infamous She-Devil Comedy Festival in NYC October 22-26. I sent in my submission clip months ago and had more or less forgotten about it, mostly just because I assumed I hadn't made the cut. But then out of the blue I just got a "congratulations you're coming to New York" email and I just couldn't believe it.

I read it several times in fact because I thought it was a joke. I still kind of think it's a joke. But I've booked my flight anyway because it seems October 22nd and 23rd I'll be telling jokes at the Greenwich Village Comedy Club and Broadway Comedy Club. If you're in the area you should swing by, and then you should also tell me where to get a good bloody in the city.

So that's that. Let's hear it for New York.

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What Makes Me Happy

Friday, August 22, 2014

I'm reading The Alchemist right now and it puts me in such a good mood. If you haven't read it, I recommend you do, there's a reason it's been translated into at least sixty different languages. It's all about enjoying the journey and finding your personal legend in life. "It's the possibility of having a dream come true that makes life interesting."- One of my favorite lines in the book.

Wanna know what else makes me happy? This ridiculous photo I just took of Harlow. This is typically how our mornings go. I start in the living room with my coffee and answer emails and write posts while he sits next to me and makes drunk faces.

In the morning he also likes to do"sticky tongue." It's this weird thing he does where he likes to act like he's licking himself but he actually just lets his tongue hang out on his arm for a good ten minutes while he makes bizarre morning yawn noises. Harlow only seems to get more vocal by the day. One of these times I think he's just going to start talking to me.

And since I mentioned coffee I'll just ahead and say it. I am completely obsessed with my new Keurig, as obsessed as I imagine most of you were five years ago when everyone else jumped on this train. Per the usual, I'm late to the game. I've been using the same $15 Target coffee maker I got in college, so this new thing is like amazing to me. There's no messy filters to deal with!!! Mind--> blown.

And as you can see Keurig just knew I was a Husker fan so they sent me some school spirit with it as well. They're removable decals you can find here for almost every school, perfect for those early morning tailgates if I do say so myself.

Speaking of tailgates... The first college football game is officially one week away! I AM SO EXCITED. Husker football season season is here! And to be honest I'm so blown away by the reception with the Talk Herbie To Me shirts, I've shipped them all over the country (and even to Germany) and that makes me just burst with Husker pride. I absolutely can't wait to see everyone rocking them on game day.

As for today, that's all I've got. Friday is calling my name. Have a great weekend!

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Inside A Blogger's Fashion Shoot

Thursday, August 21, 2014

I've realized by now that so many of you (bloggers and non-bloggers alike) are probably just dying to know what it's like inside a blogger's fashion shoot.  I know I used to be curious...  Now I can't speak for everyone, but I can tell you what mine are like. I'll probably regret sharing my secrets to capturing these mind blowing shots, but I'm going to do it anyway.

"So after a boutique sends you clothing to photograph , what do you do next?" asks nobody.

Well thanks for asking. My process is very professional and very time consuming. 

After I get a package in the mail I usually squeal with delight. I'm currently in the stage of paying for more writing classes/clown school so I honestly haven't been able to afford the luxury of new clothes in a quite a while. So when I get something new, I am very excited.

I immediately try it on to make sure it fits. And if it doesn't fit, I make it fit. Luckily this gorgeous Georgia dress you see from Sugar Love Boutique fits like a gem. 

After I make sure the clothing fits, then I typically have to decide which hairstyle will go best with the outfit, my choices are down and wavy, or down and a little less wavy. I think it's pretty obvious which style I went with! 

Then I decide which makeup will be best for the shoot. Since I've worn the same makeup since high school and don't actually know how to change up my makeup routine, it's usually a pretty easy choice. 

So I went with *shimmery brown eye shadow, black eyeliner, black mascara, and a shit ton of bronzer. Done and done. Oh and did you notice I've started wearing a little bit of lipstick? I have. It goes with my bangs I think. Gives me a bit of an edge. No biggy.

And then I wait for my photographer to be ready. Depending on whether the shoots are taking place before or after Chris goes to work, we typically have around 3-5 minutes to get them done.

"Hey, will you take a quick photo for me? Real fast. Fast. Thanks." I ask Chris as he's usually just walking in, or just walking out. He's a sport and almost always says yes.

We then walk outside and I try to look for the part of our street that is least ugly with the least amount of people walking by that I think will judge me. When I've found it, I shove the camera into his chest and say, okay go. And then I hold onto my purse and tuck one leg behind the other and shout things like "does my hair make me look like a Cocker Spaniel?" and "do I have fat arm in any of the pics?" and also "do I look gross with this smile?" as he starts snapping photos.

Sometimes I try to get fancy and I'll show Chris photos of fashion bloggers I admire right before we shoot in an attempt to get their same shots. "How do I do that thing where I act like I'm not looking at the camera?" I ask.

"You don't look at the camera," he replies in a dead pan tone. He's such a sweetheart.

And then we usually finish with an extra special finale shot. It's me walking. The other day I said, "Chris, let's take a walking shot now." And then I started walking in slow motion as if I've never walked before. Until he got annoyed and said, "Tay, just WALK. Like a human." He's so smart sometimes.

Here I am. Just walking. Like a human. NAILED IT.

Dress can be found here.  Shoes can be found lying next to my bed. And I'm not sure where that purse is at the moment.

It's not easy taking blogger fashion shoots, but someone's gotta do it. Feel free to share these tips or even use them for inspiration!

Have a great day blogworld! God love ya, you keep me young!

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Failure Sucks

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

I didn't score a single point in my last high school basketball game. Not one. It was the worst feeling ever.

I kind of forgot about this actually, which makes sense because hello it's been ten years, normal people move on from trivial things this like... And normal people certainly don't have a reoccurring dream about missing their last high school basketball game at least once per week...

I think I locked this shitty memory away because it was just that, shitty. But last night out of nowhere it came back to me.

Yesterday I had my first performance at the new iO building with a show called The Pool. The Pool's cast is stacked with some very very funny people, so I was nervous and also excited to get to perform with them. I also had an unwarranted feeling of confidence because I was still riding my high from my performance with The Sneak Around Bunch, from Monday night at the Second City.  Did I mention Ashley from The Grits blog even brought some of her co-workers to watch the show on Monday night while they were all visiting Chicago? Well she did and that was pretty awesome of her, so like I said, I was on a high. I was ready to nail my debut appearance at iO on Kingsbury street.

iO on Kingsbury street had different plans for me, unfortunately.

Before the show we were all warming up in the Chris Farley green room and I was feeling good. Being a part of anything with his name on it always makes me happy. So when we took the stage and announced that we were the first ever "Pool" show at iO I was ready to roll.

Our opening started and I was determined to chime in. The first few people said things and I was thinking in my head what should I say... More people said things and I was still thinking. By the time I said something it was so meager and weak I don't think anyone heard me.

When we cleared the stage to start our first scenes I was already feeling significantly less confident than when I started. Being on stage with low confidence is a dangerous thing, for me especially. Because the voice in my head likes to tear me a part when it can sense weakness. I wouldn't say I'm hard on myself, I'm honest. I honestly tell myself how shitty I think I am... So as I stood against the wall and watched the first scene unfold my mind was already starting to fill with negativity about why I was already ruining this show. The second scene started and I tried to even harder to make myself disappear into the wall. By the time the third one got underway and I still hadn't gone out I had pretty much already decided I was done for. This is a terrible attitude to have with improv and I know this. It's selfish and it doesn't do any good for your teammates on stage. But never the less, the feeling was there.

When the second beat scenes started I threw myself out there realizing I didn't have much of a choice at this point. I mumbled my way through a shitty scene and just wanted to run off stage. Everyone else seemed to know what was going on but I was lost as hell.

I felt like the audience could smell my low self confidence. If I wasn't confident with the things I was saying, why should they be? I told myself they had already decided I wasn't funny so I should just stay to the side and hide like the coward I was being.

After the show we sat in the audience and watched the next group and I tried to sink into my chair as low as possible. If I could have melted into that chair I would have. I just felt so so stupid about my bad performance. This terrible feeling of failure resonated inside of me. And then I realized it felt familiar. That's when all of the sudden I remembered that weird memory that had been put away for ten years about not scoring in my last high school game. It was the exact same feeling. And by now you're probably thinking, whoa chill out weirdo it's just an improv show. And you're right, I'm being super dramatic here. But that's how I get when I'm shitty at something I so badly want to be good at. I'm dramatic. Because it pisses me off when I'm a failure and I know I've let other people down.

I was a point guard when I played basketball. And I was two completely different players in a game depending on whether I was confident or not. When I was having a good game I loved having the ball. I thought I was faster than anyone and was always trying to get a break away.  When I was having a bad game I absolutely dreaded having to bring the ball up court- especially against a press, more specifically a South Sioux press. Having a point guard who dreads taking the ball isn't the best quality... It's kind of like having an improv player who doesn't want to leave the wall.

I'm not good at improv and it drives me nuts. We are adults playing make believe on stage and I'm screwing it up. That's not right. And it forces me to write "deep" blog posts about my inner demons from high school and why basketball is metaphorically similar to improv, and that's even more not right.

Feeling like a failure just sucks, whatever age you are and whatever it is you're doing. That's all there is to it.

I'll get better. I'll learn to be the best make-believer on stage if it kills me.

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